12 Weeks to super Strength Phase 4

After reading the workout that I will be doing for the next three weeks, I was somewhat disgruntled. It includes no horizontal pulling at all, only vertical pulling. I know that this program is technically a chest program, but with so many people overemphasizing chest,I was surprised to see a program that put the emphasis on chest, although it has been fairly balanced until this last phase. Do you guys agree with me? I used to bench more often than I rowed, so I have slightly rounded shoulders, (but dont we all at one point in our lives), so that is mainly why I am worried about this last phase. What I decided to do was to add rows with the same set and rep scheme as the bench, and alternate those two instead of bench alternating with curls. and then the second day would be vertical pushing/pulling. Do you guys agree with the modification? will it correct the problem? Does a problem exist? (by the way I am doing this program at the same time I am doing the limping series, great strength gains on the limping series by the way).

-PS- phase 4 starts out going heavier on bench than you have gone in quite a while, hence my chest is extremely sore today, quite reassuring me the I made the wise choice in only doing 1 “wave” instead of two

I was surprised to see that when I first checked out his programs. Especially, since Ian King is always talking about the chest/back imbalance. So your reasoning is good, and you should still have good gains with the alternate route you have chosen.

Jason, I made the same change as you did. I think Ian missed it on this one.

Your reasoning is good and so is his. A lot of people don’t realize that when Ian wrote the programs they were all meant to be done together. (upper and lower body). If you were doing them together then all the heavy pulling, cleaning, deadlifting etc. you do on the hip dominant day is more than enough to balance out the pushing. However, if you are on an upper body specialization type routine only and lack balance to the point that it is noticeable in your physique I would go ahead and exchange horz pulling for biceps.

Ya I agree with Kelly, because of the deads and what not, this would and does compensate for the lack of pulling, due to the fact you use alot of pulling on the deads, etc. But if you weren’t doing the legs, yes put in the rows.

I also agree with Kelly and Siscokid regarding the impact of the deadlifts to balance the pushing. I just finished Ian’s Bring on the Pain, and stage four is just bench and chins. I am now doing GVT2k, but doing seated rows in place of chins. This allows nine sets of rows and one set of chins. I do a couple of sets of each of the several seated row variations that Ian outlined in his recent article about seated rows. I have gotten a great training effect out of this.

would subing in rows while still during upper/lower togerther be counterproductive with all the heavy pulling involved in rows and deads?

If it means anything, Ian said from the very beginning, that this program emphasizes the bench. Check out his write up on Phase I. He did not recommend repeating this program and go onto a more balanced one.

Well under dawg, that would depend on how much rowing you put in. You need to be careful on how many more sets and reps you add. It could lead to too much usage of the back if you stayed with it for two long. Also how is your balance. This is one thing I definetly agree with Ian about, well, that and just about everything else he says. If you feel you need more work back there than I would say go ahead and do it for a while, analyse your progress and go from there. Every workout has to meet your individual needs. Take the underlying message and make it fit your own needs. That is the best type of training systems out there.